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Who am I?

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  1. I suspect this is the most important factor. If you can afford to fail a couple of times then you have multiple chances to succeed. If you have no safety net then one failure is all you get.
  2. The man was wrong about absolutely everything he ever did. He hates that this is now becoming obvious to even the dimmest amongst us. In my opinion he's the worst thing to happen to this country in living memory. Worse than Thatcher. At least the people voting for Thatcher for what they wanted. Blair destroyed the only opposition party from within. And that's quietly ignoring the fact he's a war criminal for starting an illegal, pointless and immoral war.
  3. In a country I used to live in the police helicopters that were used to find the canabis plantations in the bush were funded by the largest beer brewer. Probably tells you everything you need to know about that.
  4. Yup. 25 years of having to drag myself somewhere just so a manager can nod and say "look, all my staff are working!". So bloody pointless. Now I'm finally able to be properly productive and am happier in both my work and home life. No chance of me ever going back to an office full time. Even if it meant changing careers entirely (which thankfully it doesn't). And no more having to do other peoples work for them just so they will leave me alone to get on with what I need to do. My productivity has gone through the roof, the productivity of the juniors I mentor is better because I have more time for them and the only people I can see who have lost productivity are the ones who were getting by on me doing their bloody job for them, because they can't keep coming up to my desk and asking me which character to type next. I know there are people out there who are more productive and happier in the office. That's great. Go to the office. This wasn't meant at a dig at you - but offices are horribly unproductive places for a great many people which is why so many of us never want to see the inside of one again. If you're one of those productive office people I do feel sorry for you because the only other people going back are the ones who's jobs I had to do for them so they would leave me alone. Guess who's going to be doing their work now I'm not there?
  5. I fully understand that you are one of those people who hates the idea of having your work life mix with your home life. I can see that, for me, if I didn't enjoy my job and career I ahve chosen I might feel the same way. I'm not saying that's your situation, only that I could only feel that way about it if that was the case. I enjoy my work. It's part of my life. I underdstand that others like to keep a separation. I'm not one of those people, and apparently most people who want to work from home aren't either. I'm seeing little evidence that you are seeing how repugnant I found having to go to an office for 20 years. It was pointless and harmful to my enjoyment of life. I no longer have to do it. That's fantastic. I sincerely hope you can still go to the office and separate your work from your home life. I have no need or desire to do that. I also have no need or desire to convince you to live the way I live. I couldn't care less. Enjoy your life. Live it the best way that suits you. Just don't try and tell everyone else they should live that way too.
  6. None at all You're still insisting that everyone else should live like you because that's somehow better, while I'm still saying you should live your life the way that works best for you, but that doesn't suit me at all.
  7. You can't see that telling me how I should live my own life in my own home isn't absurd? Would you not find it absurd if I told you that you have to work from home so that you can be there for your family and have a more productive work life balance? Because it would be. And if you look closely I'm not telling you how to think. I'm accepting that you see the world differently and then pointing out that arguing other people should see it your way is a bit pointless because we all see the world, and react to it, differently. I'm also not lashing out at you for suggesting there are more subtle factors in play. I'm just stating that for me working from home is much better. I'm more productive in every aspect of my life. Obviously, for you, this is not the case and you prefer working from an office. That's fine. I'm not trying to argue you are wrong for YOU I'm arguing you are wrong for ME. Which was the whole point of my previous screed. We see the world differently. The big difference appears to be that I can get outside of my own head and realise that what works for me may not work for others. And to call my ability to play with my daughter when she comes to see me 'superficial' is bordering on insulting. For me, that's one of the most important things. All of the benefits I listed are far from superficial. They're core to my life. Including my ability to do my work better from home. Apparently these greater, albeit subtle factors take more than 18 months to play out as none of them have caused me any issues so far. As mentioned I've taken two new contracts without ever stepping into an office. That's required me to help build two whole new teams, with multiple junior staff. All of tehm (bar one) are happy and highly productive members of the teams. I would go as far as to say they are actually more productive than if they were being dragged in to an office every day and being forced to deal with teh pathetic office politics that invariably arises instead of being able to focus on their engineering and teamwork skills.
  8. I find these arguments over whether people should be in the office or not absolutely fascinating. Not because the argument over whether we should be office based or not is interesting, but because it's obvious that there are two completely different types of minds doing the arguing. You don't find anyone (at least I haven't seen it yet) arguing that people who want to work in the office are wrong and they would work better from home. If you work better in the office then you should go there. But you do get lots of people who want to work in the office arguing that people who work from home can't possibly be doing it as effectively as it could be done from the office - even though huge numbers of us have been proving we can for months now. And in many cases we are MORE effective. I, and I suspect most who work from home, would also never try and tell people how they should think about their home. You're telling me I'm not living in my home properly. Which is absurd. Just because it's not how you think about your home, doesn't mean that the way I think about it is wrong or harmfuls to me. It seems to me that people who are arguing we all need to be in the office have a hard time understanding that other people don't think and live in the same way they do. They don't seem to be able to get outside of their own minds and see that other people percieve and live completely differently. My home is special. It's full of my childrens laughter, and paintings. It's where I have BBQs with friends and plan adventures. It's also where I do a lot of my work. I could go down the road and work at a coffee shop if I felt like it, but then when my daughter comes running in to ask me to jump on the trampoline with her I wouldn't be there. Working from home is very convenient. Having to go somewhere I don't really want to be to do work is not. I'm more effective at home. I'm more effective as an engineer. I'm more effective, in many ways, as a mentor to my team. I'm more effective as a father and I'm more effective as a husband. I can stay healthier by taking a walk with friends between calls. I can be home for my wife when the creepy electrician she doesn't like being alone with comes over. Life is better in every single way. There are absolutely no downsides for me, or my team or the work that I do. You see life differently. You are worried for me and my ability to havea proper homelife. My home life is an order of magnitude better now that I don't have to drag myself to a stinking office I didn't like and was less productive. If I was to think about it from my persepctive only and not realise that your way of percieving the world is different I would be worried for your home life and wonder why you would want to avoid it for 8 to 10 hours a day by gloing to an office. That's as strange a take on things as the one you have, but it's not how I think.
  9. Some people may have an issue with that, but not anyone I know. We are all much happier working from home and having a more flexible and better work life balance. I guess some people might not be able to switch off from work or something, but they seem to be the minority. Personally I work about the same amount of hours as I would have done from an office, but they are spread out during a larger period to suit me better. I guess you could argue that means work is invading into my private space, but it's not how I see it. I can now squeeze in work around my life to allow me to enjoy a better life that I'm more in control of. I love it and I'm never going back to the ridiculously unproductive old way of working.
  10. I'm not overlooking how people naturally interact. I've met a few of the people I work remotely with in real life because I interact and have a good time with them on zoom etc. To be honest, wfh has barely made any difference to my interactions with people I work with, because I'm naturally a fairly easy going person who adapts to new environments easily. I realise for many people they find it harder, but it's just not an issue for me. I also see that it's going to take time and effort for people to find an effective way of working remotely - but it can be done and done well. It's DIFFERENT though so expecting people to work in the same way and get the same benefits wont work. It required a change in mindset. There will definitely be people who struggle WFH. But there were people who struggled in the office. And as for the toxic label - it's not one I use lightly, but it is exactly the right word in this instance. As a mentioned somewhere else - this is the first time in my entire professional career that I can't actually work with someone. I've tried. They can not be worked with. It's not just me - it's the entire team who are avoiding this person at this point. I was the last to give up on them.
  11. It's got nothing to do with being a robot. It just takes a slight change in style. A perfect example of how this can work well would have been the toxic I mentioned - if they were even remotely competent. I saw an issue with their code and spent ten minutes writing a well thought out, detailed explanation of what the issue was that I was seeing, why it would be a problem, the underlying technical reasons for why it would be a problem - with supporting links. The issue was a fundamental misunderstanding they had about how the language they were using works (a common one that people with many years experience still have). If they had any ability it would have let them charge down the rabbit hole for 3 hours, learning core knowledge that would have made them a better engineer. I couldn't have been as clean and precise in my explanation if it had been a passing chat in the break room. I needed a few minutes to think through the best way to explain it to them. It's not worse, it's just different.
  12. It's certainly not as easy, but I don't agree it can't be as effective. It's different though. And where it used to be the junior member "butting in" and asking questions etc, it now needs to be much more about the mentor initiating things. Not always though. Once the junior members realise you're approachable and like to chat about the field they are entering they'll start pinging you with things like "Hey, have you read this book? What dol you think? Can we use this tech?" etc.
  13. I think you can still have those discussions, but it's incumbent upon the mentors to initiate them. I'm keeping an eye on code being introduced by new starters and starting conversations with them if I see anything hinky. I'm also making sure they get pulled in to any engineering discussions that are being had over zoom. I agree it would be easy to leave them out, but highly skilled engineers should be able to recognise when to include more junior engineers. If they can't they're probably the lone wolf type who very few people would have been able to learn from anyway. It's different, but it can work. I suspect a lot of more junior and younger professionals will end up doing a day or two a week in WeWork type places to get out and meet others with similar skills. That will also help as it'll be the "hey, have you read this book about engineering" type conversations with other excited young engineers, without the old jaded guys like me rolling their eyes at the bouncy puppies Interestingly, that toxic I mentioned lost the plot when I tried to initiate a "Hey, I saw this thing you did recently. Have you considered what might happen if xyz occurs? I suspect you might be trying to do x, but actually y is occuring due to the way the platform you are working with behaves. Here's some info on that behaviour". Their response was "No. Everything I did is perfect and I don't appreciate you ripping my code apart". The entire system then crashed because of what they did. I was trying to warn them in a professional and friendly way without telling them they had ******ed up. They couldn't handle it. In an office environment they would have got away with it as it would have been a passing comment. It's all in writing now.
  14. I think many of the people who want to go back to the office are confusing lockdown with working from home. They're very different. Basically being locked in your house and having to work from there while no seeing anyone is unpleasant. Being able to work from home, or the local cofee shop, or the park with a couple of friends who are also working from home can be a really pleasant life (and highly productive if you're professional about it). Once people realise that there will be even fewer people wanting to go to the office. I saw a comedy gold comment on one of those HYS things the other week where some woman said she was sick of WFH so went to the office to meet people. The only other person who was there was so annoying she went home again. She was either someone who hasn't realised lockdown is ending and she can get a hobby and meet real friends, or she was the other toxic person in the office that everyone else is avoiding.
  15. Thinking more about that one onboarding failure I realised that if they were in a normal office environment they would be flying under the radar right now and blaming others for their failures (they're still trying to do that but it's harder over zoom). Currently this person's managers are happy with them because they don't need to deal with them. They always send their manager the right email at the right time, but everyone else is finding ways to route around them to get the job done. Their work output is non existent though, and that is becoming more and more clear to even the senior managers as they can no longer claim others work as their own. They wont last in the new WFH environment - and they shouldn't. In an office they could hang on for years causing massive productivity loss and blaming everyone else for their failures while claiming others succeses as their own. To be clear - this isn't a difficulty with them working from home. This is a diffculty with them working at all. I can work with almost anyone and have a reputation for being able to deal with the most difficult of clients. I'm going to be asked to fix this persons work next week and for the first time in my near 30 year professional career I'm going to have to tell the guy who needs the work done that I can not work with this person and will need to wait until they move on to another project before the failure can be resolved.
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